There is a moment in everyone’s life when childhood ends and adulthood begins. For Jon and Wendy Savage, that moment is now. Plucked from their everyday, ordinary lives, these two self-centered siblings must suddenly care for their estranged, elderly father. What follows is a hysterically funny and irreverent look at life, love and mortality through one of the most surreal experiences facing families today.
First of all, don’t expect much in the way of comedy- there are moments of wry laughter and some of the characters are in a marginally better place by the end than at the start, but most of the humour is as bleak as the weather. A relief, really, as the subject matter- ill-matched siblings get landed with formerly estranged Dad, now in advanced state of decay- is no laughing matter. As you’d expect from the cast list, there are uniformly excellent performances, with Laura Linney again the stand-out performer as the brittle but tenacious daughter. Philip Seymour Hoffman delivers a more internalised performance, huddled inside a rumpled parka for most of the film and permitted only couple of hissy fits in car parks to let us know what he really thinks about the hand that life has dealt him.